Situation: A company has done very well providing goods and services to the local community. In the process they have made good money for the owners and employees. Still, they are aware that they only serve a portion of the community in which they operate. How can they reach out and benefit members of the community who do not necessarily require their services? How do you give back to the community?
Advice from the CEOs:
- When employees have children or children of friends who are selling fundraising items, like Girl Scout Cookies, make a large purchase. Give the cookies away as gifts to clients and key contacts.
- Conduct educational sessions to help the community become more versed in and aware of the products or services in which you specialize. These won’t be sales or marketing presentations but rather information sessions with no sales pitch attached. Talks can be given at schools, community organizations, or other venues that seek speakers.
- Create a gift-matching program for employees. Make a gift to your favorite charity and the company will match your gift.
- Try a fun variation on gift-matching: “Make Joe Pay!” Make a gift to a charity, and Joe, the CEO, will match it 3 to 1!
- One company has a policy that employees are not to pressure other employees into supporting their or their kids’ fundraising. Instead, the company steps in and does this.
- Work with the Angel Tree Foundation. Set up a Christmas or Holiday Tree prior to the holidays. Employees or others pick cards, and then buy a gift for someone in need within in the community.
- Support national charities, e.g., the Heart Foundation or Cancer Society.
- Create a formula-based program whereby based on company profitability or some other metric the company creates a donation pool. Have customers vote on the charities to be supported from this fund.
- Encourage management and employee involvement on Boards of community organizations. Create guidelines and allow them paid time off to participate.
- Create a mentor program. Contact the local school system and ask about clubs or classes at local schools that the company can sponsor or mentor.